The American Horticultural Society has announced the winners of the 2022 Great American Gardeners Awards


The American Horticultural Society has announced the winners of the 2022 Great American Gardeners Awards given to the best in American gardening and horticulture.

The American Horticultural Society (AHS) proudly announces the 2022 Great American Gardeners Awards given to individuals, organizations, and businesses that represent the best in American gardening.

— Marcia Zech, Board Chair

ALEXANDRIA, VA, USA, March 16, 2022 / — The American Horticultural Society (AHS) has announced the distinguished recipients of the 2022 Great American Gardeners Awards. Individuals, organizations and businesses who receive these awards annuals represent the best of American gardening and horticulture. Each has contributed significantly to areas such as plant research, community greening, youth gardening, horticultural therapy and teaching.

Among this year’s recipients is Bart O’Brien, of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden (RPBG) in Berkley, Calif., who receives AHS’s highest honor-the Liberty Hyde Bailey Award-for his achievements as a ecologist, scientific researcher, plant explorer, author and administrator of public gardens.

AHS congratulates all of this year’s recipients for their passionate commitment to American gardening and outstanding achievement in their area of ​​expertise.

This year’s Great American Gardeners Award winners are:

* LIBERTY HYDE BAILEY AWARD – The American Horticultural Society‘s highest honor, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Award is presented to an individual who has made significant lifetime contributions to at least three of the following horticultural fields: teaching, research, communications, plant exploration, administration, art, business and leadership. Bart O’Brien, Garden Manager, Regional Parks Botanical Garden, Berkley, CA

*DR. H. MARC CATHEY AWARD – Awarded to an individual for outstanding scientific research that has enriched horticulture and plant science. Elizabeth J. Mitcham, PhD, Extension Professor and Center Director, Postharvest Technology Center, Davis, CA

* COMMUNITY GREENING AWARD – Awarded for exemplary contributions by an individual, institution or company that demonstrate the application and value of horticulture to create livable communities that are greener, healthier and more equitable. Atiya Wells, Founder and Executive Director of Backyard Basecamp, Inc., Baltimore, MD

* EMERGING PROFESSIONAL IN HORTICULTURE AWARD – Awarded at the beginning of an individual’s career, this award recognizes significant achievement and/or leadership that has advanced the field of horticulture in America. Daria McKelvey, Supervisor, Kemper Center for Home Gardening, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO and Sam Keitch, Design and Procurement Project Manager, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Philadelphia, PA

* GARDEN STEWARDSHIP – Given to a public garden that adopts and exemplifies sustainable horticultural practices in design, maintenance and/or programs. Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison, WI

* HORTICULTURAL INNOVATION – Awarded to an individual or company whose innovations have made the field of horticulture more sustainable and accessible to all. Bob Cantisano, Nevada City, CA, awarded posthumously.

* HORTICULTURAL THERAPY AWARD – Recognizes significant contributions to the field of horticultural therapy.
Derrick Stowell, PhD, HTR, CTRS, Horticultural Education and Therapy Program Administrator and Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

* MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARD – Recognizes outstanding service and generosity in support of the American Horticultural Society and sustainable gardening. Mahrou Akhundzadeh, volunteer, American Horticultural Society & River Farm, Alexandria, VA

* JANE L. TAYLOR AWARD – Awarded to an individual, organization or program that has inspired and trained future horticulturists through their efforts in gardening for children and youth. Kimberley Lough, Agriscience Program Director and Teacher, Manatee Schools, Palmetto, FL

* TEACHING AWARD – Given to an individual whose ability to share their horticultural knowledge with others has contributed to a greater understanding of the plant world and its significant influence on society. James E. Klett, PhD, Associate Professor and Landscape Horticulture Extension Specialist, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

For more information on this year’s winners, please see our 2022 winners. Photographs of the winners and additional information about the awards program are available upon request by contacting Katherine Somerville at [email protected] or by calling ( 703) 768-5700, ext. 121.

About the American Horticultural Society
Founded in 1922, the American Horticultural Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to modeling, educating, and promoting environmentally friendly and sustainable gardening practices. Our mission is to share with all Americans the essential role of plants, gardens, and green spaces in creating healthy, livable communities and a sustainable planet. To learn more, visit

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Catherine Somerville
American Horticultural Society
+1 703-768-5700 ext. 121
[email protected]


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